“You know one of the ways movies are still better than playback? The music comes up, there are credits, and you always know when it’s over. IT’S OVER!”
In a movie, you have a narrative structure. You get to meet all the characters and a problem is introduced. As things pick up speed a problem or conflict comes about. This forces the characters to undergo changes. In the end, the conflict comes to some sort of resolution. The characters solve the issue at hand basically. It seems so natural and yet life isn’t like that at all. It is never that explicit, you can never really tell when one part of your life is ending and another beginning. Is this new job the beginning of a new storyline, maybe a new chapter of my life or is this just more of the same, bound to repeat the same pattern as before? Will she ever love me again or is it truly over? We can’t ever really know the answer to those questions sometimes. Stories are written after the fact. We use rites of passage to help mark these structural changes in our lives, but they can be so trivial sometimes. Turning 18 doesn’t make you any more of an adult than you were the day before or the day before that. We desire structure, stability, and assurances that do not exist in outside our mind. We build and fabricate to help identify the significant changes in our lives. Those changes though sometimes take years to occur or never happen at all.
Stories help simplify the world. The couple doesn’t just live happily ever after. They have ups and downs and when exactly the story ends no one really knows.